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USF Hosts Pacific and Saint Mary's in Final Week of 2007 Season

May 8, 2007

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DONS HOST PACIFIC AND SAINT MARY'S THIS WEEK : USF will complete a suspended game from March 4th with Pacific on Tuesday at 1:30 PM. The two teams will then play their regularly scheduled contest 30 minutes after the end of the previous game. This weekend, the Dons will host and play in their final West Coast Conference match of the 2007 season against Saint Mary's. Friday's game is set for 3:00 PM with 1:00 PM starts on Saturday and Sunday.

LAST WEEK: The University of San Francisco baseball team continued its hot streak at the plate as the Dons defeated the California Golden Bears 13-4 at Benedetti Diamond on Tuesday afternoon. Junior second baseman Joey Railey hit his first career grand slam on a 2-for-5 day with four RBI, two runs scored and two stolen bases. Junior shortstop Brian Chavez went 3-for-5, including his team leading 14th double, with three RBI and a run scored. Freshman third baseman Derek Poppert had two hits and scored a run. Senior catcher Jon Norfolk doubled and drove in a run. Junior right fielder Luke Sommer singled and drove in two, while also scoring twice. Senior first baseman Chris Bacigalupi, junior designated hitter Matt Lieb, and senior pinch hitter Daniel Morales all singled and drove in a run. Freshman pinch hitter George Lujan, sophomore left fielder Zach Kim, and senior center fielder Jonnie Knoble also singled in the contest. Knoble stole his team leading 20th base as well. Junior right-hander Mitchell Bialosky earned his first win of the season (1-4), throwing 2.2 shutout innings, only giving up one hit, a walk, and striking out two Bears.

USF got a strong pitching effort from junior left-hander Aaron Poreda, but No. 9 San Diego got a bases loaded, one out single from catcher Jordan Abruzzo to seize a 2-1 victory Friday afternoon in West Coast Conference action at Cunningham Stadium. In a match up of two of the league's top left-handers, neither Poreda (6-6) nor sophomore southpaw Brian Matusz disappointed. Poreda went the distance, allowing two runs off 10 hits and struck out three and walked three. Matusz went 8.0 innings, allowing one run off seven hits and struck out three and walked a pair. Junior infielder Mitchell Bialosky finished 2-for-4 with an RBI double, while senior designated hitter Chris Bacigalupi went 2-for-3.

USF scored nine runs in the fourth inning, but No. 9 San Diego answered with nine in the bottom of the frame and rolled to a 19-9 West Coast Conference victory Saturday afternoon at Cunningham Stadium. Senior designated hitter Chris Bacigalupi (3-for-4, 2b, 3 RBI), senior catcher Blake Nelson (3-for-5, RBI) and freshman infielder Derek Poppert (3-for-5, 2b, RBI) each collected three hits for the Dons. Junior infielder Joey Railey collected a pair of RBI with a fourth inning single.

San Francisco struggled against a strong No. 9 San Diego as the Dons fall to the Toreros 8-2 on Sunday afternoon. Junior first baseman Mitchell Bialosky doubled and threw a scoreless inning in the game, striking out one Torero. Junior shortstop Brian Chavez and freshman third baseman Derek Poppert doubled also. Junior second baseman Joey Railey, senior center fielder Jonnie Knoble, senior catcher Jon Norfolk, sophomore left fielder Zach Kim, and senior designated hitter Chris Bacigalupi all singled on the day. Junior right-hander Tommy Peale (3-2) started for the Dons, allowing all of the Toreros eight runs (all earned) off 12 hits and three walks in 5.0 innings. Senior right-hander Daniel Morales threw 2.0 scoreless innings, giving up two hits, two walks, and adding two strikeouts.


GAME #51-52 - PACIFIC TIGERS (11-37-1)

SCOUTING PACIFIC: Over the past three seasons, the Pacific Baseball team has taken several steps toward becoming a championship program. In 2004, Pacific brought in Ed Sprague as the head coach, giving the Tigers a championship pedigree. In 2005, the Tigers recorded the first winning season since 1999 with a 30-28 record. 2006 saw Pacific continue marching toward greatness as the Tigers opened their first on-campus baseball stadium since 1951, Klein Family Field, on April 18. The Tigers finished the season with another milestone as at 30-25, Pacific posted the first back-to-back 30-win seasons in program history. Leading the Tigers at the plate is junior infielder Justin Baum who is batting .358 with ten doubles, a triple, seven homeruns and 35 RBI.

LAST MEETINGS: USF 5, PAC 5 (Suspended after 12 due to darkness) (3/4/07)

GAME #53-55 - SMU GAELS (21-26-1, 3-15 WCC)

SCOUTING SAINT MARY'S: In 2006, Saint Mary's boasted its finest season in 15 years after compiling its first winning season since 1991. The Gaels finished with a 26-25 overall record and a 9-12 WCC mark to place tied for fifth in the conference. After earning their first conference victory last weekend over Santa Clara, SMU is 3-15 in the WCC. Leading the Gaels at the plate is freshman infielder Randy Wells, who is batting .367 with 10 doubles, three triples, a homerun and 36 RBI. On the mound, freshman left-hander Anthony Aliotti is 6-4 with a 4.44 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 52 innings.

LAST MEETINGS: USF 6, SMU 4 (5/5/06); USF 5, SMU 3 (5/6/06); USF 7, SMU 6 (5/7/06)

LAST TIME AGAINST THE DONS: The Dons had a thrilling come-from-behind 6-4 win over SMU on Friday. Junior outfielder Luke Sommer and senior outfielder Stefan Gartrell hit home runs for the Dons who won their fifth straight against the Gaels. Junior left-hander Scott Cousins battled for the Dons as the WCC Player of the Month for April allowed four runs off nine hits and struck out five Gaels in 6.2 innings. Cousins worked out of a couple big jams and left the bases loaded in the third. Freshman right-hander John Quine (4-3) picked up the win in relief for the Dons, allowing one hit in 1.1 innings with a pair of strikeouts. Senior right-hander Patrick McGuigan collected his second save of the season, recording two strikeouts and needed just 10 pitches to secure the Dons victory.

USF baseball scored four runs in the second inning and it was all sophomore left-hander Aaron Poreda (6-4) would need in a 5-3 victory at Saint Mary's Saturday. Senior outfielder Stefan Gartrell enjoyed another fine day at the plate, finishing 2-for-3 with an RBI double. Sophomore outfielder Luke Sommer also enjoyed another big day for the Dons, going 2-for-4, while junior outfielder Lucas DeLong added a two-run single in he second. Poreda turned in a strong outing, allowing three runs off six hits and struck out five in 7.0 innings using only 85 pitches and retired the side with six in the fifth, seven in the sixth. Senior right-hander Patrick McGuigan collected his second straight save and third of the season.

USF earned the series sweep over Saint Mary's with a 7-6 win on Sunday afternoon. USF scored one in the fourth on junior outfielder Scott Cousins RBI single and took the lead in the sixth. After freshman infielder George Lujan reached on an error and moved to second on sophomore third baseman Joey Railey's single, senior shortstop Andrew Smith singled to right. Both Lujan and Railey scored on the play. Smith scored on Cousins groundout to shortstop and the final run of the inning came on senior right fielder Stefan Gartrell's second homer of the series. The Gaels tied it in the seventh, but the Dons regained the lead in the eighth when Cousins reached base on a bunt single and advanced to second on an error. Gartrell singled him in, earning his second RBI of the game and 56th of the season. Sophomore right-hander Brian Anderson (5-0) got the win in relief, throwing 1.2 innings allowing one run on three hits and striking out two Gaels. Senior right-hander Patrick McGuigan earned his fourth save of the season, striking out both batters he faced in the ninth.

FOUR DONS BASEBALL PLAYERS HONORED: Junior Tavo Hall earned the Charles Harney Award, given to the student with the top graduating G.P.A. Hall's pursuit of excellence both on the field and in the classroom has left a mark on the Dons baseball program and the University. He has recorded a 3.877 grade-point average in International Studies with emphasis in world religions and spiritualities. A two-time All-West Coast Conference Academic Team selection, Hall is the first baseball player honored with this award and is the first student-athlete to serve as class valedictorian in nearly two decades. A three-year starter at shortstop, Tavo has battled through much adversity on the field and has suffered season-ending injuries in back-to-back seasons, but returned last year in time to lift the Dons baseball program to the first NCAA Regional berth in school history.

Senior Jonnie Knoble earned the Sandee L. Hill Dedication Award. Knoble epitomizes what it means to be a student-athlete. After suffering a career-threatening back injury last season, Knoble has bounced back this season to enjoy a career year for USF baseball. An outstanding performer in the classroom, the fifth-year senior is in the middle of his finest statistical season, establishing career-highs in virtually every offensive category and ranks second among West Coast Conference stolen base leaders with 19. Knoble litters the career offensive records for the Dons, ranking second in stolen bases (57) and is in the top-15 in hits (176). Knoble's perseverance and dedication to academic and athletic excellence is an inspiration to his team and is a credit to the university and its mission.

Seniors Daniel Morales and Lucas DeLong earned the Peter Peletta Award. The Peter Peletta Award is the only USF athletic award that is open to all students, not just athletes. It is for loyal service to the department. Both athletes committed many hours in helping the department outside baseball. Morales, in addition to his baseball and academic duties, worked as a student trainer and also assisted in game operations, helping staff numerous athletic events. DeLong also put in many hours working numerous athletic events assisting the full-time staff and was the lead person in charge of some outside rentals.